Often times when one thinks of a treasure, something of great value comes to mind. I have heard it said, “One mans junk is another mans treasure”. I would like to take the time to focus on God’s peculiar treasure, and tell how much He values His treasure. I would like to start by saying that God does not make junk and all of the earthly treasures in this world could never be more valuable than one soul.
Many years ago God had a people, who He allowed to be placed in Egypt, and they were treated as slaves. The Bible tells us that they had hard taskmasters to afflict them as they built treasure cities for Pharaoh. One can read in Exodus 3:7, And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows. God’s heart was touched by their pain, and He made a way, where there seemed to be no way, to get His people out of Egypt. He used Moses to lead His people out of bondage, and His mighty hand performed many wonders. The greatest wonder was when He parted the Red Sea for the Hebrew children to walk across on dry ground when Pharaoh and his Army were hard on their tracks. He then allowed the waters to return and cover Pharaoh and his Army.
The Hebrew children were God’s chosen people, and He had such wonderful plans for them. He desired His people to put complete trust in Him, and live a holy life by obeying His commands. He tried them in many ways, and He knew in His heart they would fail Him. He even reminded them of what He had done for them, and He made them a promise. One can read in Exodus 19:3-6, And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine; And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Over a period of time, the Lord spoke to Moses concerning the Hebrew children in Deuteronomy 31:16-18, And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
Even though the Hebrew children spent many years forsaking God, every time they cried out to Him, He heard their cry just as He did in Egypt. God had a plan of restoration for His chosen people, and one can read about it in the book of Hosea. I would like to focus your attention on Hosea, his wife, and his children for the next few
moments. We can then see God’s plan of restoration for the Hebrew people. The book of Hosea symbolized God’s relationship to backslidden Israel in many ways.
One can read about God’s request to Hosea in Hosea 1:2, The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea. And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms; for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord. Now Hosea obeyed the voice of the Lord, and took a woman by the name of Gomer. Hosea’s name means “saved” or “salvation”, and Gomer’s name means “completion”. Now Gomer conceived, and bare Hosea a son, and they named him Jezreel. The name Jezreel means, “it will be sown of God” or “God sows”. Gomer conceived again and bare Hosea a daughter, and they named her Lo-ruhamah, which means, “not shown mercy”, or “unpitied”. Gomer conceived again and bare Hosea another son, and they named him Lo-ammi, which means, “not my people”.
One can plainly see how the meaning of these names signified God’s judgment on the house of Israel. The Bible tells us in Hosea 1:6b, I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. God’s word had been sown to the house of Israel time and time again. The house of Israel rejected His word; therefore, God said He would show no mercy on them, and they would not be His people. However, God said He would not utterly take them away. God promised that He would have mercy on the house of Judah, and His plan of salvation would bring completion.
In God’s infinite wisdom, He knew how to bring restoration to His peculiar treasure. One can read about His plan to save them in Hosea 2:14-17, Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be at that day, saith the Lord, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali.
First, let us see what these words mean, such as Achor, Ishi, and Baali. The meaning of Achor is “the valley of trouble”, the meaning of Ishi is “my husband” or “my salvation”, and the meaning of Baali is “my owner”.
Now I would like to elaborate on these scriptures for the next few moments. One can see how the Lord allured His chosen people into the wilderness, and spoke kind words of endearment to them. God gave her the valley of Achor as a door of hope, and in the valley of trouble, she would begin to cry out to God again. Often times in our trouble, we begin to cry out to God just like the Hebrew children. God was bringing them back to their first love, as the Bible tells us in Exodus 15:1-2, Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation; he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. One can see that their hearts were in love with the God that brought them out of the trouble they were in while in Egypt. They sang a song of deliverance, and danced unto the Lord. The Bible tell us in Exodus 15:20-21, And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and danced. And Miriam answered them, sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea. How we need to keep our first love burning in our hearts today. I believe that we give Satan to much glory when trouble comes our way; however, we should be praising God through our valley of Achor. The Lord rebuked the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5, Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Now I would like to elaborate on Ishi and Baali for a few moments. The Lord goes on to tell His people, that at the day they begin to sing as in the days of their youth, thou shalt call me Ishi; and no more Baali. The Lord has always desired to have a people who would have a close intimate relationship with Him, even as a husband and wife have with each other. Now we must not forget the meaning of Ishi is “my husband”. God has a very deep love for His Bride, and He is very jealous over her. The Bible tells us in Exodus 20:2-5, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. He desires a people who will acknowledge Him as the only true God, and love Him with all their heart, even as the Bible tells us in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Now let us look at the name Baali, which means “owner”. The Bible does tell us that all souls belong to God, and God owns all things upon the earth. The Bible tells us in Psalm 50:10-12, For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains; and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee; for the world is mine and the fulness thereof. And the Bible goes on to tell us in Psalm 24:1, The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. One can see that God owns the world, the animals, and souls. However, God is not married to all souls, and there is a big difference from being married to God verses being owned by Him. As I pointed out in marriage there is a love relationship, but when another owns a person, there is a sense of being a slave. To know God as Baali would be the same as being in Egypt, or a place of bondage. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have a liberated, love relationship with God and know Him as Ishi.
My how God desires to have a peculiar treasure that he can dwell in today!! Even as the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. The same God that revealed His power to the children of Israel is the same power that dwells on the inside of God’s peculiar treasures today. How we need that power alive on the inside of our hearts today, so the people who are in bondage to Egypt can be set free. We must not forget that power within us is Christ, the hope of all glory.
Our Lord Jesus is soon to return, and He will have a peculiar treasure for Himself. Even as the Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:25-27, Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
When we are a part of God’s Bride, we will possess blessings similar to the children of Israel. One can see this in 1 Peter 2:9-10, But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
In closing, aren’t you glad God made a way of salvation through His blood on the cross? Everything is now complete through Jesus Christ our Lord, and we are His peculiar treasure and His light can shine through us. We are able to have a love relationship with Him and know Him as Ishi, rather than Baali. Thank God for restoration!! We must remember that our God is a jealous God, and is coming back for a church walking according to His word. The Bible tells us in Matthew 7:13-14, Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Until next time,
Pastor Melinda Abersold (Mindy)